A prisoner was shot dead by police after escaping from a prison bus, stabbing its driver and killing a family of five, authorities in Texas have said.
Gonzalo Lopez, 46, was on a 100-mile journey from a prison in Gatesville, Texas to another in Huntsville for a medical appointment when he freed himself from restraints.
He is believed to have cut through the expanded metal cage of the bus and crawled out from the bottom before stabbing the driver and taking the wheel himself.
The driver’s stab wounds were not life-threatening.
Lopez, who was a former member of the Mexican Mafia prison gang, is thought to have arrived at a family’s cabin in Leon County on Thursday before killing the three children and two adults staying there.
Police officers were called to the family’s cabin, on Texas Route 7, at around 6pm on Thursday after an elderly relative reported being unable to get hold of them.
When they arrived they found their bodies, spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Jason Clark, said.
The family’s white pick-up truck was also missing, thought to have been taken by Lopez, they added.
The convicted murder, jailed in 2006 over the death of a man near the Texas-Mexico border, was the subject of an extensive police search after escaping from the prison bus.
Authorities were offering a $50,000 (£39,700) reward before he was found and “killed by law enforcement in Atascosa County” for shooting at officers, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said.
Before he was killed, the authorities had said: “Lopez has a complete disregard for human life and will do what it takes to avoid capture.
“We will take this investigation wherever it leads us until Lopez is back in custody.”